Celiac Disease Foundation Conference Trip – Part One

Road Trip!

While that exclamation is, usually, supposed to elicit whoops and hollers of excitement from people, if the road trip consists of being by yourself, traveling down I-5 to Los Angeles for six and a half hours in awful weekend traffic, uh… not so much.

Boring I-5 DriveBoring I-5 Drive
One of the more interesting areas of the drive.

But, but, but… it was so worth it. The drive down wasn’t too harsh. I set the cruise control at 75 and stayed mostly in the right lane, except to pass a semi here and there. Much better than the last trip. I still have to do my on-line traffic school. Yick!

By the time I got to LA, it was about 6:30pm. Went to dinner with my ‘advisory board’ and back to our hotel. By the way, my ‘advisory board’ consists of my MIL and her friend PHB. PHB was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 16 years ago. Oh, it must have been hard then.

PHB has some connections, so we stayed in a very nice suite at the Luxe Hotel on Sunset. Very, very nice. Oh, how I wish I had that bathroom at home. (Forgot to take picture of the bathroom, but trust me, it was niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.)

Luxe Hotel Suite
Note the bathrobes and slippers provided.

I almost forgot to mention. On the advice (tweet) of Glutina (http://glutinaadventures.blogspot.com), we got three gluten free, red velvet cupcakes from Sprinkles. Here they are, and oh, they were good. A lot of sugar, though. We all had a bit of trouble sleeping, and we only had one split three ways.

Sprinkles Gluten Free Cupcakes
Sprinkles Gluten Free Cupcakes

So, we got to sleep a bit late, but our lack of sleep did not matter when we got to the conference. It was crazy. It was held at the Marriott in downtown LA. You walk into the spacious lobby, check-in, and get your ‘goody’ bag. This ‘goody’ bag was filled to the top with all kinds of stuff. I think we could survive for a couple of months on all of this.

Just an aside – There is a can of Progresso Gluten Free Clam Chowder that I am very excited to try. And a full size box of Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins, New Barbeque Flavor that I have already tried. Those were good. Light and crisp. Not too much flavoring. Even the little guy loves them, and he’s not that big on carbs, except Gorilla Munch (which he calls go-ri-ruh munsh.)

Then we went upstairs to the Grand Ballroom. Before we went into the actual room, there were rows of vendors outside with samples galore. I think there were about 75-100 vendors. Just crazy. Inside the ballroom were about 600 people, if I recall correctly.

Celiac Disease Foundation Conference
A bit blurry, but you get the idea. Lots of people!

We grabbed seats and ran to get breakfast. Gluten free pancakes by Bisquick. Gluten free sausage by Jones. Yogurt from Yoplait. Everyone reading the ingredient list. There were platters of pineapple, strawberries, and melon. As what usually happens at these things, there was lots of melon left. I, personally, am not a fan of melon, so I also left it. There were four pieces of pineapple still on the platter as this other woman and I walked up to the table where it was. She grabs the tongs and takes ALL four pieces. Talk about greedy. But I, being a very gracious and polite person, did not say out loud all of the mean, nasty names I was thinking. I did, however, go back to standing in (the long) line with MIL and proceed to tell her all about the horrible pineapple injustice that was done to me since I will probably never be able to find any pineapple to eat again that could possibly be as wonderful as that hotel pineapple had to have been. After I gathered my strength to carry on, and we gathered some pancakes, we went back into the ballroom.

The Gluten Free Bisquick/Betty Crocker booth
The Gluten Free Bisquick/Betty Crocker Booth

*Bisquick pancake assessment: Good pancakes. Taste like the bisquick pancakes I remember, but I am spoiled with the more flavorful gluten free pancakes I’ve been eating for years, now. I think Pamela’s and Bob’s Red Mill are better tasting than regular pancakes.

At this point, the actual speaking at the conference started, but this post is long already. So, I will pick up here for the next post. Lots of exciting information from the doctors and dietitians. So stay tuned.

Until then, here’s to… Living better, easily!

Celiac Disease Conference Trip – Part Two

Celiac Disease Conference Trip – Part Three

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